Charlie and Linda Pearson own the Lombard-Libby farm in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

GORHAM — Tales of a ghost and a tricky Revolutionary War escape live on in the historic home of Charlie and Linda Pearson in Gorham.

The restored house and barn on 27 acres at 43 Mighty St. are older than the state of Maine. The Pearsons call it the Lombard-Libby Farm in honor of its early owners.

The Town Council, upon recommendation from the Gorham Historic Preservation Commission, last month designated the farm a town historic site, one of about 80-90 in town. The property also was recently approved for a Greater Portland Landmarks marker.

The land had been owned by Jedediah Lombard, a Revolutionary War soldier and son of the early Gorham minister, Solomon Lombard.

Today, the Pearsons have a modern kitchen, working fireplaces, period furnishings and, they say, an uninvited guest.

“We do have a ghost,” Linda Pearson said.

They’ve named it Ichabod.

Lights have mysteriously flicked on at night but ceased after she asked the ghost for an undisturbed night’s sleep, she said.

A sign over the front door of the house was an anniversary gift from Linda Pearson to her husband. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Other mysterious incidents continued, however. Their wedding picture was spun around on three consecutive days. The most recent activity was this month during house cleaning in preparation for a historical commission tour when several items were unexplainably disturbed.

‘”The ghost hasn’t done anything destructive,” Charlie Pearson said.

During restoration, the Pearsons found a pair of 18th-century shoes tucked under a beam. Citing an old New England custom, they said the shoes were put there for good luck and to ward off evil spirits.

Jedediah Lombard, a man recognized in “McLellan’s History of Gorham” for his strength, launched a farm there about 260 years ago.

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Lombard joined an ill-fated privateer sloop sailing out of Portland, Charlie Pearson said.

“They got caught on their first voyage,” he said.

Lombard was captured and cast aboard the notorious British prison ship HMS Jersey in New York Harbor. Being hale, he volunteered to go ashore on a wood-chopping mission. Finding some rum, he treated his thirsty British captors.

“He got his guards drunk,” Pearson said, and made his escape.

Pearson said Lombard fled to Gen. George Washington’s army and his unit went to Valley Forge.

Pearson believes the barn was built in 1800 and the house about 1806. Jedediah Lombard sold the property to a nephew, Ebeneezer Lombard, in 1804.

Later, the farm was sold to Robert Johnson and then Robert Johnson Jr., but neither lived there. Jeremiah Noyes Libby, who was related to the Lombards, bought it in 1851 and it remained in the Libby family for 82 years.

Charlie Pearson, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, bought the property in 1998.

Originally a 100-acre tract, Lot 105 in Gorham, then known as Narragansett No. 7, was part of a General Court of Massachusetts grant in 1733 awarded to families of soldiers or heirs who participated in the King Philip’s War against Native Americans in southern New England.

Lombard, son of an early Gorham minister, acquired 50 acres of the Lot 105 before 1760, according to historic documents procured by the Pearsons, and the farm was established in 1763.

Many of the homes early features, such as clapboards, trim boards, window panes, floors, doors and a brick oven, have been retained.

Bruce Roullard, chairman of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission, toured the property and said the home is decorated and furnished with period items.

“The house has been well preserved,” Roullard said. “It’s beautiful.”

He cited the quality restoration of the “three-level” barn.

Roullard said the commission voted unanimously to include it in Gorham’s database as a landmark.

Carol De Tine, chairperson of the Marker Committee of Greater Portland Landmarks, joined the Historic Preservation Commission’s visit, he said.

The Greater Portland Landmarks marker will be presented to the Pearsons early next year, Roullard said.

Meanwhile, the couple is in full Christmas-decorating mode. They’ve decorated the outside of the house and one of their trees.

“We will be decorating inside this weekend,” she said. “Christmas is our favorite time of year.”

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